Is Iron Maiden the biggest metal band in the world right now?

harrisdevot

Priest of the Holy Wristband
It's even worst that I thought then : they are living on their past and are not really an active band. This makes me think of AC/DC : their sales figures are huge; all their shows are sold out, but they are what Janick Gers would call a cabaret act. Despite this, in term of sales, they too could easily compete for the title of biggest metal act (are they Metal ? If Bon Jovi is, I assume they are, although they would hate this).
 

SixesAlltheway

Ancient Mariner
Metallica has a much more extensive and wide-ranging fan base. Maiden never broke into the mainstream like Metallica did. For that reason alone I think Maiden can never compete with Metallica when it comes to popularity/sales etc
 

SixesAlltheway

Ancient Mariner
I would never be able to take any of my family members, say my cousins for example, who are about my age, some of them 5 - 10 years younger to a Maiden show. They wouldn't know who they were. Or they would have preconceived ideas of them as "some old metal band". But if I would ask if they wanted to come to a Metallica show, I'm sure they'd alll say yes because they love Metallica and "The Black Album ", but they are not metal fans in general.
 

The Flash

Dennis Wilcock did 9/11
(are they Metal ? If Bon Jovi is, I assume they are, although they would hate this).
Those are just way off remarks. If a band goes ahead and tries something different, let it be softening their sound or anything else, some fan out there will label them sell outs. It's never gonna change because the philosophy will never change on these fans' heads. Meh. Not nearly as mainstream as Metallica, but Opeth is a progressive death metal band and they're putting out soft progressive rock albums. They're doing just fine, if not better. But some still call them sell outs, even though they don't have a mainstream audience to sell out to.

Fans of music can be weird.
 

The Flash

Dennis Wilcock did 9/11
Heritage moved up on my rankings to become my fourth favorite from them. 1. Still Life, 2. Ghost Reveries, 3. Damnation, 4. Heritage.
 

harrisdevot

Priest of the Holy Wristband
Those are just way off remarks. If a band goes ahead and tries something different, let it be softening their sound or anything else, some fan out there will label them sell outs. It's never gonna change because the philosophy will never change on these fans' heads. Meh. Not nearly as mainstream as Metallica, but Opeth is a progressive death metal band and they're putting out soft progressive rock albums. They're doing just fine, if not better. But some still call them sell outs, even though they don't have a mainstream audience to sell out to.

Fans of music can be weird.
Did you only take the time to read the post you are quoting ? Cos I don't understand what you are talking about. I was refering to the previous posts about Metallica not really doing big tours and many new albums, and then talking about AC/DC. And please, stop jumping around as soon as a post doesn't fully satisfy you. Sometimes, you can be really offensive.
 

Cornfed Hick

Ancient Mariner
I agree that the answer is probably AC/DC -- I'd call them metal, or at least hard rock. Metallica is big, but nothing like AC/DC in terms of record sales.

I don't know whether G'n'R is still as big as Maiden. At their peak, they were certainly bigger, but lately they've been playing club dates. Are they really selling out big sheds or arenas? If so, then they may be on par with Maiden.

By the way, the New Yorker magazine just did a feature on the biggest selling albums of all time. It points out that the numbers you read are almost always inflated, such as Thriller selling over 100 million copies (it hasn't). This is supposed to be a more "realistic" estimate -- precise calculation is impossible.

1. Michael Jackson, “Thriller”: 66,200,000
2. Soundtrack, “Grease”: 44,700,000
3. Pink Floyd, “The Dark Side of the Moon”: 44,200,000
4. Whitney Houston et al., “The Bodyguard”: 38,600,000
5. The Bee Gees at al., “Saturday Night Fever”: 37,200,000
6. The Eagles, “Their Greatest Hits 1971-1975”: 36,900,000
7. Bob Marley, “Legend”: 36,800,000
8. Led Zeppelin, “IV”: 35,700,000
9. AC/DC, “Back in Black”: 35,700,000
10. Shania Twain, “Come on Over”: 35,400,000
11. Michael Jackson, “Bad”: 34,700,000
12. Soundtrack, “Dirty Dancing”: 33,300,000
13. Dire Straits, “Brothers in Arms”: 33,200,000
14. Alanis Morissette, “Jagged Little Pill”: 33,200,000
15. Fleetwood Mac, “Rumours”: 33,000,000
16. The Beatles, “1”: 32,400,000
17. Pink Floyd, “The Wall”: 31,900,000
18. ABBA, “Gold”: 31,400,000
19. Guns N’ Roses, “Appetite for Destruction”: 30,800,000
20. Simon & Garfunkel, “Greatest Hits”: 30,700,000
21. Queen, “Greatest Hits”: 30,600,000
22. Celine Dion, “Let’s Talk About Love”: 30,300,000
23. Michael Jackson, “Dangerous”: 30,200,000
24. Celine Dion, “Falling into You”: 30,200,000
25. The Eagles, “Hotel California”: 30,000,000
26. Bruce Springsteen, “Born in the U.S.A.”: 29,100,000
27. Metallica, “Metallica”: 28,900,000
28. Meat Loaf, “Bat Out of Hell”: 28,700,000
29. Soundtrack, “Titanic”: 28,500,000
30. The Beatles, “Abbey Road”: 28,300,000

Read more: http://www.newyorker.com/online/blogs/culture/2013/01/did-michael-jacksons-thriller-really-sell-a-hundred-million-copies.html#ixzz2J2g36QRg
 

The Flash

Dennis Wilcock did 9/11
Did you only take the time to read the post you are quoting ? Cos I don't understand what you are talking about. I was refering to the previous posts about Metallica not really doing big tours and many new albums, and then talking about AC/DC. And please, stop jumping around as soon as a post doesn't fully satisfy you. Sometimes, you can be really offensive.
Okay, I misunderstood your post. Still, my point stands valid even though I misunderstood your points belonging to AC/DC rather than Metallica. You still called them (Metallica) sellouts, you can cut the "those are just way off remarks" part and take it.

By the way how in the world was I offensive ? I didn't direct anything to you, stated some opinions and I'm offensive ? What about "And please, stop jumping around as soon as a post doesn't fully satisfy you." ? And I'm supposed to be the offensive one here ? Wow.

(about the actual subject : I wouldn't call none of Bon Jovi, Guns N' Roses and AC/DC metal, they're hard rock.)
 

425

Starblind
I just don't feel at ease with them anymore, because I don't believe they are that sincere.
I actually feel way more at ease with Metallica's current live performances than the earlier ones. They've always been a great live band, but in the 80s Hetfield put too much of an emphasis on saying "f*ck" and acting evil for my tastes. Of course they are musically unpredictable, but they're sneaking their way into my favorite band list (I recall being on your side of a Metallica debate a few months ago and saying that they wouldn't even get into my top 10 favorite bands, they are currently in my top 5). Whether or not they actually are, the band has done a very good job of convincing me that they are sincere. I just watched Quebec Magnetic today, and I'll tell you, as far as I'm concerned James is all heart.

And in response to the actual topic, in terms of actual numbers, Metallica certainly is the biggest band that can unquestionably be called a metal band currently. And they are a metal band. The first five albums and Death Magnetic are metal albums, like them or not, and though I haven't heard all of their other albums, from what I've heard the Load twins are the only albums by Metallica that are not metal. Again, like it or not, St. Anger is metal. Given that a clear majority of their discography (7/9 non-cover studio albums) is indisputably metal, we can safely call Metallica a metal band. And they pack the crowds in, even more so than Maiden right now. Yes, Maiden is the better band (IMO), but Metallica is the bigger band. GNR seems to straddle the line, and I don't have enough knowledge of their discography to correctly place them. I would definitely say their genre is in question. Metallica's is not, making them, again, the biggest unquestionably metal band in the world.

Wouldn't it be funny if the OP was asking about big as in number of members? Given that Maiden has six members, they would certainly be a candidate for biggest metal band. Someone should look into this if they're bored or something. By the way, I nominate Rush for smallest band member to instrument ratio. And my tangent shall be stopped here.
 

Zare

Automaton Sovietico
Metallica sold out to the mainstream after Black. It's not only about music, it's about image. Haircuts, wardrobe, logo changes. And now we can even dwell into song themes, structures, and length. It was more similar to image, sound, and song structures of mid 90s alt rock bands, than to Metallica of several years ago. Same with St. Anger and nu metal "influences".

I do not appreciate Rolling Stones for the same reason, they always had tons of elements of whatever mainstream stuff was popular when their albums came out. Same with U2. Those are not rock bands, they are pop rock bands. There's a reason why "pop" is short for popular, and that word means good rating among general audience. Hence, Metallica, pop metal. Since 1990 they are playing what the general audience wants to hear. In 1995 that was alt rock, in 2003 or whenever St.Anger came out, it was nu metal. In last 7-8 years normal, pure, "classic" metal became huge again. Death Magnetic seriously lacks inspiration, but I'm not writing it off as "pop shit", in hope that they are back on track. Like Megadeth after Risk.

Selling out does not necessarily mean doing it for the money, and it's not the case of Metallica IMHO. They were steered into those directions by music industry. They started trusting their opinion, probably alluded by "success" MTV brought them. You don't pioneer thrash metal, music fueled by hate for hair bands and music establishment, and then have a relationship with that industry 10 years after.
 

______no5

The Angel Of The Odd
Nice post, though I don't agree 100%. A big band /artist should always incorporate current elements into its music. See Miles Davis for instance. U2 did that in an amazing way with Achtung Baby, which was Brian Eno's baby in the end. After that, not bad not so great either. Stones, they certainly did it, less successfully in my opinion, especially after Tattoo You. Not by chance, their best record after that, Voodoo Lounge was a straight fwd rocker.

Right now I can't think of any rock band that did this chameleon thing multiple times and /or for a long period with aesthetic success. Wait. David Bowie qualifies. Big time. Someone could say Rush as well. There must be a few more, though. From the pop music, Madonna is the queen of transformation: she have done it again and again, some albums were not that elegant, some huge, but the time span of her continuous transformation is something that amazes me.

Though I obviously respect and love Maiden, I would like to see them experiment & incorporate modern elements a bit more through the years. From 1990 onwards I mean, because until 7th Son the line of the artistic evolution was unbroken.

So to recap, I partly appreciate what Metallica did. It was not very original, that was the weak link. But it was a try.
 

425

Starblind
I just want to say that the very use of the term "sell out" implies that they sold their integrity, and going by the etymology of the term tells us that the term DOES imply the involvement of money.

Of course, they changed their musical style. That's not up for argument. You can't say Load and ReLoad are "pop metal" because they aren't metal albums. I have not heard all of St. Anger but I would say it is best defined as weird. Maybe nu-metal influenced weird, maybe just random weird. In any case, it's an odd album. And I would say that the Black Album is not pop metal, given that it is not even vaguely close to a glam album. It is my impression that "Enter Sandman" is one of those songs that became a random hit out of no real intention on the part of the artist to make it one. Look at Dream Theater's "Pull Me Under", which became randomly popular (though to a lesser extent than Metallica did, obviously). In terms of musical changes from ...And Justice for All to the Black Album, I would say that the evolution is comparable to the transition from Seventh Son to No Prayer. The only major difference is that the Black Album was a commercial success while NPFTD was not. So, the only album which can be argued as "pop metal" is St. Anger, which I am not prepared to comment on as I have not heard it in its entirety. You could say that the Loads are pop rock, but maybe that's not an accurate term either. I would describe them as "Southern Hard Rock", again, having heard only some songs. In any case, that's a maximum of three albums that could be said to be "poppy", out of a total of nine albums. Which means that Metallica would be called mostly a heavy metal band, as 6 of 9 albums definitely belong to the genre, including the most recent one.

We can argue all day as to whether they "sold out" or whatever term you want to use, but the fact that I have decided to accept (I used to be part of the whole "they sold out" sector of the metal fan population) is that we will never know what their motives were in changing their sound. Sure, you can have suspicions that they sold out, and you can make an argument to that point, and you can say that you don't like their later albums, but you cannot state definitively why their later albums are the way they are. Metallica has denied "selling out". Lars has called it a "natural evolution", and there's an argument to be made there (considering the Loads were Southern rock sounding and then consider the "Sweet Home Alabama" reference on "The Four Horsemen"). But we can't take their word, because selling out isn't something you'd admit to; it's like stating that Lance Armstrong definitely didn't dope because he said he didn't. On the other hand, unless you can get inside Lars or James' head or you were in on a meeting where they decided to sell out, you don't know if they did or not.

What people on this very forum have convinced me to do lately is to just not worry about the whole thing. If you like the music, listen to it, if you don't like it, don't. I like "Enter Sandman", I think it's a heavy, catchy and well-constructed song. I don't really care if it was an appeal for commercial success, I like to listen to it, and I will continue listening to it. And as I said, I thoroughly enjoyed Quebec Magnetic and did not find anything annoyingly "poppy" about any of Metallica's performance on that video. I just don't plan on making a big deal about that whole argument anymore.
 

Zare

Automaton Sovietico
I just want to say that the very use of the term "sell out" implies that they sold their integrity, and going by the etymology of the term tells us that the term DOES imply the involvement of money.
And they did exactly that. Like I said, don't think they did it on purpose, but they fell into influence of their managers and other people who gathered around them just for profit. In 1990, metal was a huge market, and after hair/glam baloon popped, industry had to capitalize on the next big thing; thrash metal.

I'm not talking about Black album. Black was a natural progression. I place that album with MOP, RTL and ...AJFA. Their best works.

no5, it's about the attitude. Repeating this for one last time : they fueled on anger against the industry and their glam metal "products" for a decade, and then embraced them.
 

Brigantium

General of the Dark Army
Staff member
It's even worst that I thought then : they are living on their past and are not really an active band. This makes me think of AC/DC : their sales figures are huge; all their shows are sold out, but they are what Janick Gers would call a cabaret act. Despite this, in term of sales, they too could easily compete for the title of biggest metal act (are they Metal ? If Bon Jovi is, I assume they are, although they would hate this).
I spat water all over my keyboard when I read that!
 

mckindog

Living for Sanctuary from the law
Staff member
I agree that the answer is probably AC/DC -- I'd call them metal, or at least hard rock. Metallica is big, but nothing like AC/DC in terms of record sales.

I don't know whether G'n'R is still as big as Maiden. At their peak, they were certainly bigger, but lately they've been playing club dates. Are they really selling out big sheds or arenas? If so, then they may be on par with Maiden.

By the way, the New Yorker magazine just did a feature on the biggest selling albums of all time. It points out that the numbers you read are almost always inflated, such as Thriller selling over 100 million copies (it hasn't). This is supposed to be a more "realistic" estimate -- precise calculation is impossible.

1. Michael Jackson, “Thriller”: 66,200,000
2. Soundtrack, “Grease”: 44,700,000
3. Pink Floyd, “The Dark Side of the Moon”: 44,200,000
4. Whitney Houston et al., “The Bodyguard”: 38,600,000
5. The Bee Gees at al., “Saturday Night Fever”: 37,200,000
6. The Eagles, “Their Greatest Hits 1971-1975”: 36,900,000
7. Bob Marley, “Legend”: 36,800,000
8. Led Zeppelin, “IV”: 35,700,000
9. AC/DC, “Back in Black”: 35,700,000
10. Shania Twain, “Come on Over”: 35,400,000
11. Michael Jackson, “Bad”: 34,700,000
12. Soundtrack, “Dirty Dancing”: 33,300,000
13. Dire Straits, “Brothers in Arms”: 33,200,000
14. Alanis Morissette, “Jagged Little Pill”: 33,200,000
15. Fleetwood Mac, “Rumours”: 33,000,000
16. The Beatles, “1”: 32,400,000
17. Pink Floyd, “The Wall”: 31,900,000
18. ABBA, “Gold”: 31,400,000
19. Guns N’ Roses, “Appetite for Destruction”: 30,800,000
20. Simon & Garfunkel, “Greatest Hits”: 30,700,000
21. Queen, “Greatest Hits”: 30,600,000
22. Celine Dion, “Let’s Talk About Love”: 30,300,000
23. Michael Jackson, “Dangerous”: 30,200,000
24. Celine Dion, “Falling into You”: 30,200,000
25. The Eagles, “Hotel California”: 30,000,000
26. Bruce Springsteen, “Born in the U.S.A.”: 29,100,000
27. Metallica, “Metallica”: 28,900,000
28. Meat Loaf, “Bat Out of Hell”: 28,700,000
29. Soundtrack, “Titanic”: 28,500,000
30. The Beatles, “Abbey Road”: 28,300,000

Read more: http://www.newyorker.com/online/blogs/culture/2013/01/did-michael-jacksons-thriller-really-sell-a-hundred-million-copies.html#ixzz2J2g36QRg
I missed this earlier. Very interesting. With illegal downloads it must be impossible to track what the most popular music is.
 

______no5

The Angel Of The Odd
Legal purchases reflect more or less the actual situation. Before the downloads there were cassettes.. Plus means like YouTube, Facebook & Twitter can indicate popularity, too.
 
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